DNREC Seeking Public Input On Coastal Zone Regulation

Dover – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold two public workshops this week seeking input as DNREC begins the regulatory process for developing regulations for the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, which Governor John Carney signed into law in August. The act requires the Department to develop and promulgate regulations for the redevelopment of 14 heavy-industrial use sites in Delaware’s Coastal Zone by Oct. 1, 2019. The Nov. 29 and 30 workshops will provide the public an opportunity to comment on the process the Department will use to develop regulations for the conversion permits DNREC will issue for sites to be redeveloped.

The two workshops will be held:
• Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the Kingswood Community Center, 2300 Bowers Street, Wilmington, DE 19802, and
• Thursday, Nov. 30, at Delaware City Fire Hall, 815 5th Street, Delaware City, DE 19706.
Both workshops will begin at 6 p.m.

“The workshops provide an open forum for everyone wanting to express their thoughts and concerns about the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act regulatory process,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The Coastal Zone is an important part of Delaware and our environment. The State is committed to having an open and inclusive process, which starts with defining what the process will look like. The workshops are the Department’s first opportunity to listen to input from our citizens about the best way to implement the revisions to the Coastal Zone Act.

Information gathered at the workshops will be compiled by the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), a non-profit organization collaborating with DNREC and the State of Delaware to ensure that regulations are developed by the Department with transparency and openness during the regulatory process. CBI was chosen by the State because it played a similar role in Coastal Zone Act regulations developed in the late 1990s. The information gathered at the workshops will be used by DNREC to help the Department establish a Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC), which will help guide development of Coastal Zone Conversion Permit regulations.

Both workshops will follow the same agenda. The first part will include informative presentations about legislative changes to the Coastal Zone Act (which originated as House Bill 190 before it was signed into law as the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act by the Governor) followed by an opportunity for public comment. During the second half of each workshop, all who attend will be asked to participate in breakout groups focused on establishing the RAC and the role that committee will have in formulating regulations.

The information gathered by CBI in stakeholder interviews and comments made at the public workshops will not be used in drafting conversion permit regulations, but are intended to gather input on the strategy DNREC might use in developing regulations in an open and transparent manner. Information gathered during the workshops and from CBI’s stakeholder interviews will be compiled in a report for DNREC and made available for public review when complete.

For more information on the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, please visit de.gov/conversionpermits. To stay updated on the regulatory process for developing the conversion permit, you can also subscribe to the Coastal Zone Act email listserv by sending a blank email tomailto:[email protected].

Source: DNREC